Monday, January 16, 2017

Getting into the Natural History Museum

On my list of things to do was the Natural History Museum.

Since I'm an early riser I figured I would head down on an early train and get there around 10 a.m. just as they opened. I believed myself to be very clever. I believed that I would probably be one of the first people into the museum so I could skip a bunch of lines. My hubris was palpable but I truly believed myself very clever. On the day that I traveled it was also raining so as I headed towards the subway I felt supremely pleased with myself in how well I had done, surely, I thought, this will mean even shorter lines.

I was such a fool.

When I got off at the 86th street station I was greeted by a subway station decorated to match the museum which makes sense since this is not only a hugely popular site but the location of three very popular movies with the young set. It's kind of fun to walk through a subway covered in dinosaur bones and t-rexes.

As I excited I followed the signs that showed how the subway connected to the museum entrance.

"Huzzah!" I thought, "I'm going to skip all those lines now and sneak in through the bat cave."

When I finally managed to come out to the underground entrance to the museum I was greeted by a line that wrapped itself three times around the underground entrance. At roughly 9:45 a.m. there were at least a 1,000 people in line to head into the museum.

"This," I thought, "would not do."

What I really wanted to get to was the planetarium, so I excited the museum to see if there might be another way in. The first who was set to start around 10:30 a.m. and I really wanted to see that show.

Outside, it wasn't any better, in front of the museum the line was already down the block and onto the next block. There were lines everywhere. It was insane. I didn't want to be in line for an hour to get into the museum and I really wasn't even sure I would enjoy the place that much. So, I shrugged and figured if I had to get in line, at least I would line up for the entrance to the planetarium. I followed Googles directions and was soon headed to a second lower level entrance, that amazingly, did not have a line.

In fact, I was able to get in, get checked in for the Dark Matter show (being narrated by Neil Degrasse Tyson) and work my way up to the theater with ten minutes to spare. And my thinking that this would be a lightly attended show were clearly wrong as at least 300 people who had also managed to get in were queued up and ready to learn about what is hiding in Dark Space.

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